Carlos Rodon, the White Sox’ 1st round pick and 3rd overall in the 2014 draft, has apparently agreed to sign for $6,582,000. Rumors of a number “over $6.45M” had been reported by Jon Heyman yesterday, but Baseball America now has confirmed the specific number.
Rodon, the highest Sox draft pick since 1977 when they took Harold Baines #1 overall, went into the spring the consensus #1 pick, and fell only very slightly after not quite reaching performance expectations. He was still considered by some to be the best arm in the draft, and was predicted to go in the top 5. See our write-up from draft day for further scouting details and background on Rodon.
The $6.582M is significant for a few reasons. First, it is the most the Sox have ever spent on a draft pick (previous high: Joe Borchard for $5.3M in 2000). Second, the amount pushes Rodon well over the recommended slot value ($5.722M), and outside of the team’s allotted total pool limit (which was $9.510M) by about $475,000. That overage is taxed at 75%, so there is a further $356,200 in penalty the team will need to pay, bringing their outlay for Rodon to about $6,938,000. Finally, the 6.582M number is also right up against, but not over, the level where the Sox would have lost a 2015 draft pick as a further penalty.
After many years of staying in line with slot recommendations, even before the “new rules” put more of a collar on the rest of baseball, this represents further indication of the difference between Rick Hahn’s reign and that of Kenny Williams. The organization continues to focus on adding impact talent to the minors.
Rodon immediately becomes the #1 prospect in the White Sox system, and local news reports indicate he will be assigned to the Winston-Salem Dash (A+).